There may seem to be endless home remodeling projects to accomplish, but once they are done, your house will reflect your personal style. One such project is the installation of new flooring. Plush carpet for your bedroom, hardwood for the kitchen and dining room, and tile for the bathroom are all possibilities. With options like vinyl, bamboo, linoleum, laminate, wood, carpet and tile, how are you to choose? Consider your taste, current decor and lifestyle to find the right flooring for your home.
Choose your flooring based on your personal taste by doing a little window shopping. Look for colors, grains and textures that appeal to you. Did cherry wood make an impression? It might be a signal that you should go in that direction. Does your friend have amazing stone floors in her bathroom? That might be more your style. Be on the lookout for flooring options that pique your interest.
Unless you’re planning on purchasing all new furniture, cabinets and appliances, you want to be sure that the flooring you choose complements your home’s current design. Be especially choosy with wood. If you have bright wood cabinets, dark floors would look out of place. Window frames and treatments made of wood are another element to match. Fortunately, if you are also looking to install retractable screens, you can match the wood used to case the screen with your custom wood windows and your wood on the floor. Plan ahead when making multiple changes to your home’s design so that the final product will work as a whole.
Take into account the way you live your day-to-day life when choosing flooring. Do you have kids that tend to spill? Carpet might not be the right choice. Does your dog hate sliding around on slippery linoleum? Then opt for something with better traction. Think of how your flooring can fit your needs in each room of the house and choose based on that.
Now that you have a better idea of your needs, consider the types of flooring available.
Solid wood: Wood is popular for its beauty and durability. This flooring comes in strips and is laid out plank by plank. There are domestic, regional and exotic species to choose from. When shopping for wood, be sure you’ve selected varieties certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forest Initiative to know you’ve made a sustainable choice.
- Engineered wood: Made with wood or stone fibers pressed together and topped with a wood veneer, this flooring is a stable choice. Unlike solid wood, it does not change size based on temperature and humidity.
- Bamboo: This sustainable choice is made from bamboo, which is a type of grass, though it has a similar appearance to wood. The long fibers are woven or glued together to make planks.
- Laminate: Available in a variety of colors, styles and patterns, laminate flooring is easy to maintain. Like engineered wood flooring, laminate’s bottom layers are comprised of pressed particles or plywood, then topped with a false veneer. The top layer features an image of the grain or texture you desire. That image is then sealed with a plastic coating.
- Linoleum: Prized as the most environmentally friendly type of flooring, linoleum is comprised of biodegradable and renewable materials.
- Cork: Cork is harvested every eight to 10 years from the bark of a tree. The tree is not harmed in the process, so it can be harvested repeatedly. It also means that cork is a sustainable flooring choice.
- Ceramic tile: Ceramic tile is made of clay and shale that is baked in a kiln and then glazed, painted or left raw. Only purchase ceramic tile that has been graded for use as flooring.
- Carpet: The more fibers per square inch in your carpet, the more durable it is. Keep that in mind when purchasing carpet.